Govt asks power cost to import coal to meet shortage
The government urged power utilities to import coal as a short term measure to tide over the shortage in supplies.kolkata Updated: Jan 20, 2009 17:25 IST
The government on Tuesday urged power utilities to import coal as a short term measure to tide over the shortage in supplies.
Coal Minister Santosh Bagrodia said that although there was actually no shortage of coal supplies in the country, power utilities should also import coal for meeting short term crisis.
He said power companies located at pitheads should have a stock for 15 days and those situated far can pile it for 21 days.
To increase supplies, Bagrodia said that companies should start extracting coal from captive mines which had been allocated to them.
At a seminar 'Energy East and North East 2009' organised by Indian Chamber of Commerce here the Minister said by 2011-12, the target coal production from captive mines was around 104 million tonnes.
The minister also warned that companies which had been allotted captive mines but had not started production would be de-allotted.
The Coal Ministry would also float global tenders to revive abandoned coal mines for their revival, he further said.
"Several mines have been abandoned for the last 40 to 50 years. These mines would be revived using the latest state of the art technology," he said.
Bagrodia also reiterated that the Centre would not raise coal prices inspite of rise in costs, adding that the wage bill would also rise after the impending pay revision.
He also expressed unhappiness over the country making little efforts to raise hydel power generation.
Earlier, West Bengal Power Minister Mrinal Banerjee lamented that state coal utilities were facing a crisis in supplies.
He urged the Coal Ministry to allot more coal blocks to utilities owned by the state government.
Banerjee warned that if coal supplies were not improved, the state would face massive power cuts from February.